How Clearing keeps you on the right track

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science graduate Martha Boyne tells us how Clearing kept her on the right track

“I messed up my A levels and didn’t get the grades I should have. This left me wondering what to do. Where do I go? What happens now?”

Martha Boyne

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science

Clearing kept me on the right track


I messed up my A levels and didn’t get the grades I should have. This left me wondering what to do. Where do I go? What happens now?

I did not originally intend to study at Plymouth, but personal circumstances meant I changed my mind at the last minute. By this point my UCAS application had already been sent off, so I already anticipated even before I knew my results I would need to go through Clearing with Plymouth to stay in the local area. But in the end, everything worked out well for me.

I was already aware of Clearing as my mother is a lecturer at Plymouth, so after looking on the website to search for courses that would accept my grades, I called the Clearing hotline and explained my situation, exactly where I wanted to get to and what I wanted to have at the end of my time with Plymouth.  

My plan was to still study BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science and there was an opportunity for me to take a foundation year which would still allow me to follow my chosen route. 

I was put in touch with the course leader before I accepted the place, which was really good. You read about courses online and when you apply, you go through an interview process, but through Clearing you don’t necessarily get to have this opportunity to ask the extra questions. That was really important to me, to find out the information and confirm that it would get me to my end goal, even though I took a different route to get there.

As a secondary school teacher, I now tell my A level students to stay calm and always have a list of questions to ask. It helps to handle any panic you may feel – 'my friends have all got their grades. What am I going to do? I must get on a course!' If you have a prewritten list of questions you can still check even though you are going through Clearing it is the right course for you.

Going through Clearing empowered me to get me where I needed to be, without having to wait another year. Enrolling on the foundation course allowed me to progress in the right direction and opened doors for postgraduate studies. I’ve since completed my PGCE to be a teacher, which enabled me to go on to my masters, which has now allowed me to start my PhD this September. Without going through Clearing I may never have been in this situation.

Martha is now a science teacher at St Paul’s Catholic College.

If you’re worried about your university place, or want to consider your options, you don’t have to wait until A level results day to apply for Clearing.

If you haven’t yet applied to the University of Plymouth, you can register in advance to receive priority treatment on Thursday 16 August 2018 with our dedicated team of advisors.

Already made an application to Plymouth?

If you have previously made an application with the University of Plymouth you will not have to pre-register for Clearing. Simply follow our advice on our Clearing pages to find out what you should do next.

Pre-register for Clearing at Plymouth